Home > Biology > [#1] – Biology 107 – Introduction to Cell Biology

[#1] – Biology 107 – Introduction to Cell Biology

This post marks the first of a series of posts in which I will attempt to analyze courses that I have taken in the past.  Each week, I intend to provide an objective review of every class that I have completed thus far in my University career; in the order of least recent, to most recent.  Let’s begin!

Cell biology deals with the microscopic aspects of life.

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Preamble:

Biology was one of my favorite subjects in high school; I found it neither too difficult, nor too easy.  Most importantly, I truly enjoyed the subject matter and possessed a genuine interest for the majority of the topics.

The ‘cramming’ strategy that I had mentioned in my first post had always seemed to work for me.  With that being said, it was my primary way of studying for biology tests.

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Course:  Biology 107 – Introduction to Cell Biology

Instructors:  Kimberly Harcombe and Lisa Prichard

Textbook: Biology – by Campbell and Reece (8th ed)

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Review:

Biology 107 was my first university class.  Like many others, I was taken aback by the sheer size of the lecture hall, let alone the amount of students that were sitting in it (~300 students, which is ~10X more than my high school classes).  The course itself was quite standard when compared to other undergraduate courses.  At the time, however, its layout deviated greatly from my high school biology courses, and thus, it appeared very novel to me.  For one, I had never experienced a true “biology lab” before.  The prospect of doing a new, 3 hour lab each week was pretty cool; although I quickly learned that the labs only dealt with the most rudimentary of processes, and hence, were not as fascinating as I had hoped.

The course itself was divided into three separate components: lectures, labs, and seminars.  The lecture component was where all of the theoretical learning was done; labs were designed to give us ‘practical / hands-on’ experience with the knowledge base that we had acquired during the lectures; and lastly, the seminar component was intended to hone our writing skills (ie: we had to write a biology paper about a peer-reviewed article).

As you may have guessed from the title of the course, under the huge umbrella that is biology, we only covered a small, and fairly specific subsection (cell biology).  The material itself was not difficult to comprehend, but, there were mountains of it (much more than high school)!  Our lectures consisted of note taking, which we copied off of a gigantic projector screen.  The professor would explain the concepts while we were writing, and we would repeat this cycle every single class *(something that now, I know for a fact, does not suit my learning style)

It was not until half-way through the course that I came to the conclusion that the textbook was all but mandatory.  The vast majority of our assigned textbook readings dealt with auxiliary material that was not relevant to the exams; the notes were all that were required to succeed.

Me, being fresh out of high school, decided to once again employ my method of cramming.  To keep a long story short, let’s just say my grade ended up falling short of my expectations (as you will see in the next posts, this was a recurring experience that plagued me throughout my entire first year haha).  In summary, there was simply too much information to digest for the cramming method to prove effective!

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Class Average:  ~ B-  (2.7 GPA)

My Grade:  B+  (3.3 GPA)

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